39 weeks and 2 days and ready to pop any day now. I had hope that by this time, all I’d have to think about is welcoming my baby girl into this world – but that isn’t the case.
I’m from Cebu, Philippines and we’ve just started with our enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) – and so the comfort of knowing that I could go out anytime to get checked as frequent as needed, or as I’d like, is out of the window. Everything needs to be carefully and strategically planned to ensure that everything goes smooth.
Having a Toddler while pregnant during this time and about to give birth
I have a 3 year old daughter who’s comfortable being around me and my husband (since it’s usually just us 3 at home) but now have to think of who to leave her with, where, and even how. While I do have family whom I can leave her with – she isn’t used to them to the point of being left alone with them, which makes me feel uncomfortable – and I also don’t want to risk leaving her knowing that the COVID-19 statistics here in Cebu isn’t completely transparent.
Not giving birth in a hospital and the hurdles
Gladly, I won’t be giving birth in a hospital (and hope I don’t end up having to go to one) as I will be giving birth in a gentle birthing home clinic, lessening the chances of being exposed to COVID-19 patients – but it’s far! – another thing that I had to clarify is the border crossing between cities here. I live in Lapu-Lapu and where I’m giving birth is in Mambaling and there have been restrictions with intercity crossing – of course with exemptions. My husband and I are constantly calling up with provincial governments to ensure that we’re allowed to leave our city and enter another and be able to go home – as so much amendments have been made since the first Executive Order has come out regarding it.
Since I’m not going to a hospital, my prenatal check ups have also been at the birthing clinic, which I’m very thankful for as I lessen my risk of exposure to this virus, and also – I’m truly grateful that the birthing clinic org. has been more than sympathetic and empathetic to heeding the call of social distancing and has allowed prenatal check ups either online or via phone call. They also operate 24/7 so if there’s an emergency or need to advise about anything that’s happening with the pregnancy – someone is always ready to pick up the phone and accommodate. I’ve even tried calling at 11:00 in the evening and after 2 rings someone picked up! It was even sweet of them to check in on me. Just a day ago, someone from the clinic called to check in on me to see how I was doing (since I’m term and due any day now) and remind of what symptoms to look out for that would be active labor and to head straight to the clinic if those were showing. What’s more – they even reminded regarding the ECQ and that we had the option to call an ambulance or ERUF to be brought to the birthing clinic in case we didn’t have a ride.
Practicing Social Distancing
Luckily, my family don’t really go out often. Since I’ve been working from home since 2015 (though resigned in January to focus on my pregnancy) and so is my husband, life hasn’t been so much different – only that doing groceries has been a bit more of a challenge. People panic buying has made it difficult to find everything we need in one place. We now visit at least 2 different grocery stores to complete our needs.
My daughter and I stay in the car for the most though. I don’t want to risk exposing myself nor my daughter and we always have spray alcohol on hand. When my husband comes back from being out of the car, I literally spray him with alcohol as if I’m bathing him with it – and when we get home, we all change our clothes and/or take a bath before trying to sit anywhere in the house.
It’s also worth mentioning that, even though we really try to stay at home when needing to buy groceries, if there is a need of having to go somewhere quite far, like in the city because we need something specific, there are times that all 3 of us really go together. Because I’m so close to giving birth, and if my husband is too far away, and I suddenly have to go into labor – nobody else would be with me (other than my daughter) in case of an emergency. But of course, we only stay in the car.
Feeling restless but trying to remain calm
At 39 weeks and with everything that has happened and is still happening – I’ve been feeling quite restless and wanting my baby girl to come out already. I sometimes get the feeling that she’s aware of what’s going and maybe thinks it’s safer to stay inside? And though I’m soooooo ready to meet her already, I also can’t help but think that it’s quite a scary time to be bringing a human into this world. After months of ‘nesting’ – prepping the home for another family member, and ensuring it’s COVID-19 safe to bring her home to, this wait is making me anxious – both in a good and bad way, though I am trying to control myself to ensure I don’t spiral towards insanity. Let me tell you, being pregnant – with all the mood swings that comes with it, in this time of a worldwide pandemic outbreak, doesn’t make things any better.
When you see and hear people panic buying, the number of infected cases rising and all other things, it’s easy to lose your
shit mind- and it only takes 1 snap. It takes a whole lot of discipline to not care so much about it to keep your sanity in tact.
Confiding in the things that matter
I’ve been blessed to have a home I call my own with my family and be able to still afford having, at least, the basic necessities at home. I try not to think and read of the horrible things happening around, as being pregnant can make me into an emotional looney, but when I do, to get myself updated or come across a post on social media by chance, I remind myself that I’m thankful to be at home and still be alive.
Mother Earth seems to be healing and taking its natural course and I know this too shall pass.
And soon – my little girl will be in this world, making it a little brighter 🙂
Written by : Victoria